Financial authority issues ‘interim stop order’ against Validus company

The New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued an interim stop order to a financial company it previously listed as a scam.

FMA also warns the public to be wary of doing business or depositing money with this company known as Validus.

Validus services had been popular with some Tongans in New Zealand, Tonga and Australia.

In a statement released by the Authority yesterday it said Validus International LLC was registered in Delaware, USA pursuant to section 465 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (the Act).

“While this Order is in force, Validus and its associated persons are prohibited from: 

  • making offers, issues, sales or other acquisitions or disposals of financial products promoted under the brand or name Validus; and
  • accepting applications for financial products promoted under the brand or name Validus; and
  • distributing any restricted communication that relates to:
    • the offer, or intended offer, of financial products promoted under the brand or name Validus; and/or
    • the supply, or possible supply, of a financial advice service to any person; and
  • accepting further contributions, investments, or deposits in respect of financial products promoted under the brand or name Validus; and
  • supplying a financial advice service to any person; and
  • supplying the financial service of keeping, investing, administering, or managing money, securities, or investment portfolios on behalf of other persons”. 

The FMA can issue a Stop Order under the Financial Markets Conduct Act, if someone is offering investments without complying with the law.


The Stop Order is made “in the public interest because there is real risk of investor harm arising from activities of Validus and its associated persons, that appear to be dishonest and misleading and not to comply with the Act or the regulations made under the Act”.

“The FMA reinforces its warning that the public should exercise caution in dealing with this company and its associates. The FMA also encourages people to come forward with any complaints or information about this entity, especially if they have made contributions, investments or deposits to this company and its associates, at this contact. All information is treated in confidence”.

It is understood Validus recently arrived in Tonga and there were promotions of its services being shared on social media for the kingdom.

The Tongan community has already been affected by scams, including pyramid schemes in which people have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In June Kaniva News reported on a Onecoin scam that cost people thousands of dollars, including a woman who lost all her savings.

The FMA is considering whether it may exercise a power (to issue a full stop order) under section 462 of the Act.

Following the interim stop order Validus will now be aware that communications at marketing events will be a restricted communication (as defined in section 464 of the Act) where they: 

  • directly or indirectly refer to an offer, or intended offer, of financial products (namely a managed investment product promoted under the brand or name Validus) or the supply, or possible supply, of a financial service (namely a financial advice service);  
  • are reasonably likely to induce persons to apply for financial products (namely a managed investment product promoted under the brand or name Validus) or request the supply of a financial service (namely a financial advice service); 
  • are authorised or instigated by, or on behalf of, offeror, the service provider or an associated person of the service provider (namely Validus); and 
  • are to be distributed to a person (being attendees at the marketing event). 

 Validus is required to provide a copy of this Order to all its associated persons.

The FMA is cooperating with the Commerce Commission on these matters.

Other terms and conditions  included “The FMA must give the Registrar of Financial Service Providers written notice of the terms and conditions of this Order, the reasons for this Order and any other information the FMA thinks relevant in the circumstances and make the notice available on the FMA’s Internet site in accordance with section 477(1)(b) of the Act. Under section 477(1)(c) of the Act, the FMA may also give notice to any other person of those matters”.

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